Flying Shmuck

Not just for athletes anymore.

Denver may be a mile high, but there must be something in the rarified air above us that drives people to do, well, shmucky things.

Take New Yorker Christina Elizabeth Szele, 35, who hurled racial epithets and punched a flight attendant who tried to stop her from smoking on a June Jetblue flight that had to be diverted to Denver. Szele, a previous Shmuck of the Week, will now spend some time in a local halfway house.

And then there’s 29-year-old Ezra James Wallace, who was charged this week with assault aboard an aircraft during an August 1 San Diego-to-Denver flight.

The U.S. attorney’s office, which also dealt with the Szele case, says Wallace used athletic tape to tie the hands of a 16-year-old girl sitting next to him and tried to do the same to her sister. He also tried to take pictures of girls before the flight took off, according to reports. A flight attendant eventually intervened and moved the girls to a different row.

Wallace, of Denver, who supposedly drank a half-pint of vodka before the Southwest flight, said he was drunk at the time, but that it was all in good fun. He also showed the girl his skateboard, which he had carried on board.

A 29-year-old skateboarder is shmucky enough. So leave the vodka and tape at home.

For previous Shmucks, see our Shmuck of the Week archive.

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